Tags on Super User are meant to categorize posts to help people with specific expertise or interests to quickly discover posts that are relevant to them.

Over time we've collected quite a few tags that aren't actually helpful in this process, so we have an ongoing effort to clean them up.

How do I know if a tag should be cleaned up?

If the tag falls into any of these categories, it should probably be removed or replaced:

  • The tag is only useful when it's combined with another tag. Like update, install or task.

  • The tag does not describe a specific technology or area of expertise. Like color, temporary or file.

  • The tag could mean different things, depending on context. Like environment, noise or terminal.

  • The tag describes an extremely broad topic. Like software, technology or equipment.

I found a tag that should be removed or replaced – what should I do?

If you've found a tag which you think isn't helpful:

Other users will then look at your proposal and vote on it. If your question collects a negative score, your proposal will be denied (and marked ). If it collects a positive score, your request will be accepted (and will be marked ) and the tag cleanup can begin. Note that the Super User moderators will take the final decision on which proposal is accepted, based on votes and community discussion.

If your request is planned, cleanup can go through as per your suggestion, or an alternative solution might get posted as an answer by another user and that proposal will then be implemented (depending on the votes it received).

You can also have a look at all questions about tags that are waiting to be accepted for cleanup.

I want to help clean up!

Great! Have a look at the questions about tags that are accepted for cleanup. The questions will have all the information on how to proceed with the tag (removal or replacement). You can open the list of questions with that tag and start editing them.

If you come across a cleanup post and you notice that the cleanup task is already done, please raise a flag on the post so that a moderator can mark it as completed.

How do I clean up?

Please edit in small batches and be mindful of front-page flooding – we don't want the entire front page to be filled with edits of old questions. Do five or ten edits at a time, then come back later.

Also, try to fix other issues in the posts you are editing. Are there any spelling errors? Missing embedded images? Are the questions totally off topic, but nobody ever noticed? Do as much cleanup work as you can – make it count!


In case you have any questions, post a comment in the question about the tag, post a new question on Meta Super User or visit the chat and talk about it with other users.

  • 1
    What about the accidentally created tags that has low (say less than 5) count and there's already an obvious tag on the same topic, do we need to post a meatQ asking for clearance? – Braiam Jun 27 '14 at 20:37
  • @Braiam No. The edits will either go through the suggested edit review process or you are already trusted enough to make edits as you see fit. Just don't let the mods catch you deleting some beloved tag ;D – Der Hochstapler Jun 27 '14 at 20:47
  • Ok, I did for the [ [surface] tag](meta.superuser.com/q/8153/235569) since it was just 3 poor question put out of pain (and it seems pretty obvious they wanted the microsoft-surface tag). – Braiam Jun 27 '14 at 20:55
  • @Braiam There is a question about that tag on meta already though meta.superuser.com/questions/8153/replace-the-surface-tag – Der Hochstapler Jun 27 '14 at 20:56
  • I suggested we add object qualification for transitive verbs... meta.superuser.com/questions/8292/… – Eddie B Jul 30 '14 at 18:00
  • What about tags that are defined to mean one thing, but can be interpreted to mean another thing, and are frequently misused to mean the other thing? Should we post such semi-tag cleanup requests? (e.g. ide really means Integrated Development Environments, not IDE hard drive (PATA)) – gparyani Aug 29 '14 at 17:32
  • @damryfbfnetsi they need to be cleaned up and retagged appropriately – Der Hochstapler Aug 29 '14 at 18:06
  • What steps should we take to help stop future misuse (other than a tag wiki)? – gparyani Aug 29 '14 at 18:21
  • @damryfbfnetsi misused tags will be synonymized with proper tags after cleanup – Der Hochstapler Aug 29 '14 at 18:48

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